Vaccinations are one of the biggest public health innovations in history. Because of the myriad vaccines we have available, we have completely or nearly eliminated several devastating diseases, saving countless lives in the process. Diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough and chickenpox can be debilitating, or even fatal. In order to keep your children — and other students— healthy, you must ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date before school starts. American Family Care is there for you as summer draws to a close, so you can get those vaccinations knocked out and be ready for the start of school!
While many diseases have become extremely rare thanks to vaccines, this doesn’t mean they are completely impossible to catch. Outbreaks have happened as recently as 2015, when measles spread like wildfire from Disneyland in California to several other states due to the high amount of unvaccinated individuals in the area. There are people who are unable to get vaccinations due to immune system weakness or allergies, and they rely on a phenomenon called “herd immunity” to protect them from these diseases. When people who could be vaccinated are not, they weaken herd immunity and make it easier to spread these diseases.
You probably took your child in for several immunizations when they were very young, but as kids grow older, these vaccines could lose their effectiveness. This is why there are sometimes outbreaks of diseases in middle and high school. To protect your youngest (newborn through six years) from 14 diseases, you should get all of the vaccines that your doctor recommends. Children six months or older could also benefit from a flu vaccine every year. For preteens and teenagers, vaccines like the TDAP and the meningococcal conjugate vaccine act as boosters for immunity in a period of rapid growth and change for kids. And as your children hit puberty, they should begin receiving rounds of the HPV vaccine, since it is most effective when delivered while your children are in early puberty. For more information on what vaccines are best when, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website.
It’s not too late to get your child up-to-date on their immunizations! Protect them and the students who share their classes by getting your children fully vaccinated. Your local American Family Care offers this service to busy families with no appointment necessary!